“There's a kid in a band/ Got an axe in his hand/ He's been learning all the chords/ and he's writing all the words/ Today you bought a new face/ Tried it on for size/ Now you see the world through/ Different coloured eyes/ They're not playing/ They're not playing/ They’re not playing/ They're just having/ Adventures in modern recording/ Adventures in modern recording/ So carefully directed/ For modern mass appeal/ Look just like a poster/ Got yourself a deal!” – “Adventures in Modern Recording” the title track from the Buggles’ sophomore album.
Listen, I’ve always wanted to use the term ‘sophomore album’ in conjunction with the writing I do about music. Making use of the hidebound phrase is okay I tell myself. That’s because I’m doing it while continuing to plumb the depths of rocanrol lyricism for meaningful, self-referential moments. You know, songs about musical experience have become as much a part of this column as the concert previews elucidated afterwards. And readers, especially musicians, who read this weekly bit, seem to like it too. It’s become a great way of linking the past to the now. And the now that follows continues to be an adventure, carefully directed and infinitely interesting.
The Eagles of Death Metal, a band that irreverently filters the nocturnal action of the rock-filled desert through bluegrass inclinations, southern-fried rock and Glenn Frey’s darkest nightmares gigs at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Thursday, Aug. 27. The concert is the second stop on a world tour supporting their latest recording, Zipper Down (out on October 2, 2015). With a rotating cast of rocanrol notables filling up their luxuriously tuneful ensemble, EODM are led by Jesse Hughes and John Homme. They’re two musicians from Califas who sought a viable alternative to alternative rock. By providing their audiences with swaggering guitar antics, blistering bass lines and vocals that are by turns as aggressive and sentimental as the goings-on at a rustic strip joint, they’ve found an answer that kills. Tickets for this 21+ journey to the center of your mind cost $15. The doors swing open at 8 pm so that the swooping birds of enchantment can light upon the stage at 9:30 pm. Be there or be square. If you choose the latter option, I’ve got a copy of Hotel California you can borrow.
If you like to eat rocanrol music but occasionally crave the spice of experimental electronic discourse as a means to assuage your musical hunger, then have I got a deal for you. Get your fill of Burque-style electronica at Sister (407 Central NW) on Friday, Aug. 28, at an event called “Shrimp Night.” The Nothng Forevr Collective brings its dangerously quirky and insanely danceable beats to the table for an evening of provocative and plainly courageous musical moments that very night. The dance party features local electro-wizard Bryce Fletcher performing a DJ set as REIGHNBEAU. Contrapuntal comrades BK Beats, The1960 Sci-Fi Era and the folks from NFC will contribute to the sonic ritual. Alxxs Garza, known for his wide-ranging, multi-genre take on aural experience is the night’s special guest. The lot of them plan to explore the realms of experimental electronica, hip-hop, trap and related esoteric forms while a group of humans dance ecstatically across the floor and through the portals of a good time for all. It’s just three bucks to get in and you gotta be at least 21 to pass through the heavenly gates of Sister. Since the event starts at 10 pm, one assumes you’ll have enough time to pick up some glow sticks and a tube of Vicks Vapo-rub on the way there.
Back in the before time—you know, the years betwixt the heady 1960s and the millennium—jam bands ascended in Albuquerque and came to command the music scene of the 1990s. One band in particular stood out as a groove-filled, infinitely discursive iteration of that genre. They were called TheWithdrawals. And they’re back again from outer space with a repertoire of tuneage practically guaranteed to knock your socks off and wish that summer did indeed last forever. The Withdrawals play at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Saturday, Aug. 29. Created in the mid-nineties by vocalist Keith Thomas and guitarist Andy Dunn, this ensemble of meandering musicians made their reputation through a brand of music that focuses on melodic wanderlust, introspective solos and commanding instrumental flourishes that set them apart from their peers. Drawing on a wide range of influences that hinge upon something I like to call a folk-rock frenzy, The Withdrawals were never derivative, but rather have always been innovative and harmoniously inventive. The band refers to itself as makers of “Tribal Urban Desert Music”; that’s an apt if complicated metaphor that points listeners to a place that is calming, complex and compelling. It’s a 10 dollar concert for those over the age of 21. Low Spirits opens at 8 pm that night with the intention of lifting your spirits (with some help from the band) at 9 pm.
This week’s live music fiesta verges on the fantastic (see above paragraphs) but the highlight for this spaced-out music writer will happen on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). That’s when David Lowery and both of his gloriously storied musical projects appear in the Duke City. The bands I refer to are known as Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. I can’t say enough about the punkified, So-Cal folk-rock sounds of Camper Van Beethoven; they’re one of the reasons I smile every morning on the way to work. There’s a copy of Telephone Free Landslide Victory stuck in the Blaupunkt CD player in my beat-up old Bimmer. When the strains of “Take the Skinheads Bowling” or “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon” pour out the speakers, I’m exactly where I want to be. Of course Lowery’s work in post-CVB outfit Cracker is just fine by me too. I’ll take “Low” as well as his later, Bakersfield scene-influenced twangy-ness any day of the week, thank you. Brush your hair back from your eyes in the back of “Joe Stalin’s Cadillac” and let Lowery and company take you through the “Eye of Fatima” for a mere $20. Doors are at 7 pm and the show begins at 8 pm.
I’m not playing; this week is going to be smoking. And if you dig what I’m putting down on the page, imagine what the real thing will be like. Better yet, make it real by supporting your local scene with your presence and your feria. Do we have a deal?